A federal court in New York has sentenced Islamist Sayfullo Saipov to life imprisonment for the attack with a pickup truck on Halloween 2017 in New York. The jury could not agree on a death sentence, as the competent Federal Prosecutor's office announced on Monday. The 35-year-old Uzbek is therefore sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of early release.
The twelve jurors had found Saipov guilty at the end of January on 28 counts, including eight counts of murder. The jury then had to decide whether Saipov would be sentenced to death or life imprisonment. The death penalty would have required a unanimous verdict.
Saipov had driven on October 31, 2017, with a borrowed vehicle on a bike path in the New York borough of Manhattan, as numerous children and their parents were preparing for the Halloween celebrations. He killed eight people, including five Argentinians, the most serious attack in New York since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Saipov himself stated after the fact that he had acted in the name of the jihadist militia Islamic State (IS). ISIS described him as one of its "soldiers".
The Federal Prosecutor's office had demanded the death penalty against the man – a politically controversial procedure. US President Joe Biden had promised in the election campaign to work against the death penalty at the federal level. His attorney general, Merrick Garland, announced a moratorium on federal executions in July 2021. However, this does not mean that no new death sentences can be imposed, but refers to the execution of death sentences.